Everything really is bigger in Texas – even the build-for-rent demand

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Population boom creates opportunistic market for the next real estate trend

Everything is bigger in Texas and people are moving to the state in droves. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas’ population grew by 563,945 people in 2018—making it the number two state for new residents. The Lone Star state already accounts for nearly one-fourth of the country’s population growth and by 2030, the state’s population is projected to approach 35 million.

But with all of this relocation activity, where exactly are these new Texans settling and what kind of housing do they need? As the industry continues to nurture the massive demand, build-to-rent communities can be a solution to helping Texans (new and old) find a stress-free home.

Where are people coming from and where are they moving to?

New residents are coming from across the country with California (86,164), Florida (37,262), Louisiana (29,108), Oklahoma (24,590) and New York (21,509) accounting for the most new newcomers in 2020. With over 200,000 additional residents coming from outside of the country as well, Texas is primed for new real estate opportunities.

Large metropolitan areas like Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Houston are seeing the most transplants, with Austin and Central Texas trailing close behind. Development in these urban hubs is moving outwards into the suburbs to meet this rising demand, while still offering the amenities people are looking for when selecting a neighborhood. 

Why are people choosing Texas?

There’s several reasons why the Lone Star State continues to experience this rapid growth. From job growth to the low cost of living and doing business and friendly tax rates, Texas is an attractive economic choice for people across the country. However, cost alone won’t encourage new residents. Growth and development in the larger urban areas are helping further push people towards the state. The warm weather, diverse cuisine, natural beauty and opportunities in higher education also make the state an inviting and exciting cultural hub.

Where does Build-to-Rent fit in?

With the influx of relocation to Texas, more housing options need to be available. Build-to-rent (BTR) (also known as build-for-rent (BFR), single-family dwellings meet the growing demand for comfortable, cost-effective and modern homes that will combat the growing housing shortage. Increasing median prices and the unpredictability of homeownership has pushed people towards rental opportunities, which have become a reliable financial decision for many. Even during the pandemic when financial situations are shifting dramatically for many, less than one percent of single-family rental renters have requested a rent deferral plan and a record single-family rental same home occupancy of 97 percent was seen at the end of March.

Texans of all ages are looking for more space to call home, with location, open concepts and outdoor space being some of the most important aspects to them in 2020. Wan Bridge provides communities with great locations, building in or around major cities like Dallas and Houston. Our homes feature open floor plans including 10-foot-high ceilings, large kitchen islands and storage space, enough bedrooms and bathrooms for the whole family and plenty of green space. Likewise, Wan Bridge’s communities offer bountiful outdoor spaces, including jogging trails, dog parks and play areas.

As such, Wan Bridge has continued to experience growth. The number of leases signed increased by 70 percent after COVID-19 hit Texas, and comparing the first half of 2020 with that of 2019, the number of new leases executed has increased by 508 percent, home completions have increased by 198 percent and new homes under construction have increased by 107 percent.

Big Picture

Economic uncertainty and the renewed need for more living space caused by the global pandemic will further increase the demand for rental homes—a preference over apartment complexes that will likely remain. Build-to-rent houses will continue to be seen as a better financial alternative by millennials, empty nesters, families and tenants demanding new residential options.